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Lone Leftist Kills Oklahoma Patriotism Bill By: David Yeagley
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, April 05, 2002


ON MARCH 20, Oklahoma state legislators decided to put patriotism in Oklahoma public schools. By a unanimous decision (99-0, one excused), the Oklahoma House of Representatives approved a bill mandating a daily moment of silence, a daily flag salute, the posting of patriotic/religious documents, and Veterans Day observances.

But on April 1, one senator killed it. Education Committee Chair Senator Penny Williams was assigned H.B.2090 by Senate Majority Whip Keith Leftwich, but she excluded it from her committee agenda. So, one aging, leftist Democrat denied the unanimous will of a hundred house representatives.

As a Comanche patriot, I stormed her office to ‘kindly’ ask why.

“This bill was not about patriotism,” Williams said, “this bill was about religion, and God doesn’t need our help.” Senator Williams is regarded by many as an antiquated ‘60s leftist. She repeated the mantra, “We must keep church and state separate,” then said, “This bill would not contribute to ‘student learning,’ and that’s my concern.”

One of the bill’s provisions allowed public schools to post America’s national motto, “In God We Trust.” That motto was apparently taboo to Williams.

“Well, what about patriotism?” I urged. “Patriotism does have to be taught. It doesn’t grow out of the ground.”

“Oh, yes it does!” she cried. Seizing my metaphor with instinctive leftist sophistry, she announced, “I just got back from Ground Zero, New York!” Then she enthusiastically testified of flags flying all over New York City in a socially unified plethora of patriotism.

As if the WTC tragedy is the foundation of American patriotism, like our victims define the value of our country, and their blood creates love for our country. Like waving flags over their graves is the zenith of patriotism. That’s idolizing the victim beyond any left-wing talk I’d ever heard. It’s a displaced Christianity, or a substitute worship of victimhood.

Never mind the study of actual American history, or American “doctrines” to inspire patriotism. Those ideas were eliminated from H.B.2090 even before Williams killed it.

House Rep. Bill Graves earlier had introduced a stronger bill, H.B. 2075 to “Instill Patriotism Among Students.” Section 1-C of his amendment reads: Instruction in the history and etiquette relating to the United States Flag and the history and perspective of certain documents and papers including President George Washington’s farewell speech, the Federalist Papers, the Declaration of Independence, and Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death” speech shall be given in one or more grades in the schools in every school district in this state.”

But Rep. Russ Roach’s House committee deleted that. The committee was shy of actually teaching what it means to be an American. Apparently they weren’t willing to risk a definition of patriotism.

The result? The House Democrats gutted the bill. It enforced the flag salute, for instance, but didn’t ensure that students understood why they should love their country. It provided ceremonial patriotism, but no instruction on how students could become worthy Americans. This bill honored only the veneer of patriotism.

That emotional veneer suits leftists like Senator Williams. Wave that flag. Never mind what it stands for. The flag is only a symbol, and what it actually symbolizes is up for grabs. So of course the Left waves the flag. They want everyone to think they love America. They reinterpret the flag to represent socialistic, anti-American values¯but, as long as they wave it, they’ll look like patriots.

What they clearly don’t want, as this episode displays, is public school children learning the true, historical meaning of the flag. Otherwise, socialists couldn’t get away with changing the values it represents.

In the case of Oklahoma H.B.2090, Williams eliminated even ceremonial patriotism. So there’ll be no religion or patriotism in Oklahoma public schools.

Certainly, “In God We Trust” is religious in nature. The meaning of our national motto can’t be reinterpreted. It might offend or “victimize” someone who doesn’t believe in God. But instead of acknowledging the majority who hold this motto dear, leftists deny everyone its use.

In our Brave New America, where the values of state socialism are quickly becoming the official religion, victims are used as catalysts—as a dubious pretext for pushing a left-wing agenda. The victim class—in this case, atheists and chip-on-shoulder anti-Americans--comprise a new dictatorial minority. And thanks to the decision of one lone leftist in the Oklahoma state senate, these “victims” are still at the head of the class in Oklahoma public schools, while both God and Caesar still silently wait to be enrolled.


Dr. David A. Yeagley is a published scholar, professionally recorded composer, and an adjunct professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Liberal Studies. He's on the speakers list of Young America's Foundation. E-mail him at badeagle2000@yahoo.com. View his website at http://www.badeagle.com.


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